Monday, December 31, 2018

RIP "Oakland" Raiders / Welcome...Mike Mayock?

Well, I'll have more to say soon, after the spell of the holidays has worn off, but for now...

Yesterday's game is not really worth writing about, except for maybe that pick-six, which was one of the worst ones I've ever seen. This team as a lot of work to do.

Which brings us to our new GM, who has never worked in a front office before. Thankfully, he won't have the final say on draft and personnel matters (hint: Jon Gruden will).

As far as the Raiders having possibly played their last season in Oakland, this is a nasty business. I don't like it, even though I understand the circumstances that led to it. But Mark Davis could have done better, a lot better, when it comes to the local fans.

Anyhow, before the start of the season, I said that the curtain was rising on THE GRUDEN SHOW.

Now the first act of THE GRUDEN SHOW is over, and like it or not, we now have to place our faith and hope in Jon Gruden's ability to steer the Raiders out of this self-made quagmire that resulted in one of the worst seasons in this franchise's once-storied history.

Until then, Happy New Year my friends, thanks to all of you who make this place what it is.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Happy New Year, Take, and everyone else here. Yesterday's pick 6 was difficult because Jared Cook didn't even attempt to break for the ball. He thought it was a run play. That is 6 in a row for losses in KC for the Raiders, who have had trouble the last 2 years to build on great wins the week before.

Mayock our new GM is interesting. If anyone will be at the facility at 4am with Jon Gruden, it will be Mayock. My concern is not the ability to scout, but the ability to manage the cap and negotiate with agents. Again, when you fire people, you have to bring in those who are better than who you let go. Not sure that Mayock is a step up from McKenzie, but I guess we are going to find out.

With the Roster we had when Gruden became coach, there was a sense of hope that the Raiders could win this season. Fans were punched in the stomach when Crabtree exited, almost immediately, to Baltimore. Then Jano was shown the door to Seattle. Marquette King was let go, because Gruden didn't want to pay $3million to a punter. The air was deflated in this team when Mack was traded. We continued to lose in the season, guys like Irvin, and of course, Cooper. Out of the players who helped turn this franchise around, 4 of them are in the playoffs: Jano, Crabtree, Cooper, and Mack. 3 of them won their divisions (Crab, Coop, and Mack), and one of them has a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl (Mack). I wish them well, but really wish all of this was with the Raiders.

We will see what the future holds for this Raiders team. Hopefully it is more of the 2016 kind of season, but I'm tired of holding my breath. JUST WIN, BABY!

7:47 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

While I don't think the Raiders completely gave up yesterday, it's obvious their season ended last week when they shot the moon against Denver. This one wasn't worth watching, and I regret that I did. I agree that it's not worth writing about.

Looking at the bigger picture, the primary focus in the 2018 draft was OT and DT, positions which the Raiders burned first, second, third and fifth round draft picks (plus 3rd rd pick on Key). After 16 games, it's quite possible that OT and DT are still among their biggest needs. That should concern all fans who placed their trust in Gruden to turn the franchise around.

Maybe Year 2 will be better for Miller, Parker, Hall, Key, et al. Or, Hurst may be the only keeper.

Mayock as GM is interesting but, like Gruden, Mayock has spent most of his time behind a microphone. Mayock is knowledgeable and has been around football a long time but has no GM experience. This only places more responsibility on Gruden, which "The Gruden Show" believers fully expected.

I guess for those naysayers, hiring Mayock is just further proof that Gruden is fully in charge.

Have the Raiders have come full circle, back into the one-man-in-charge black hole?

Raiders still have far more questions than answers.

IMO, firing Olsen and Cable should be at the top of Gruden's list.

Happy New Year!

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

A lot of NFL Insiders are praising the Raiders' hire of Mike Mayock based on his work ethic and player evaluation. They are saying if anyone will challenge Gruden it will be Mayock.

I think that part is great and terrific, but that is only part of the GM job. The other part, not being spoken about, is the management of the present and future Salary Cap Space. This season spoke alot about Gruden's inability to properly assess value to certain positions (especially with a future HoF DE). Can Mayock bring balance to that? If not, who will hold those 2 accountable? Mark Davis?
I understand that when you have bigger contracts, it limits what you are able to do with the rest of the roster. Will they be willing to pay "fair market value" to players and future HoFers/superstars? Or are they going to build a roster of "average/above average" players and hope for the best?

The Rams are setting the pace with what they are willing to spend with a decent roster. We will see what happens when they have to shell out money for Goff, Gurley, Donald, Suh, Peters, and Talib (not too mention the WRs and O-line), and how many Championships it brings them.

My predictions for the playoffs:
Colts beat the Texans, Cowboys beat the Seahags, Chargers beat the Ravens, Bears beats the Eagles

Colts beat the Chiefs, Saints beat the Cowboys, Patriots beat the Chargers, and the Bears beat the Rams

Patriots beat the Colts, Bears beat the Saints

Super Bowl
Bears beat the Patriots

9:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Looks like Mayock will bring much needed talent evaluation. That's his strength. Salary cap can be managed by accountants and attorneys.

Early on, the Raiders primary capital will be the draft. No need to sign expensive free agents before the team can carry a steady pulse (still in CCU). That said, I expect the Raiders will over spend in free agency, because they can.

For the playoffs, best thing that can happen for the Raiders is if the Bears and Cowboys get knocked out in the first round. I have to root for that, and it will help make those games more fun to watch.

I'm predicting the Rams to go all the way and get some return on investment, while proving that having a player like Aaron Donald on your team is not only a good thing but affordable.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Rams are my second choice to win the Super Bowl. I think the Bears do it though, because the Rams haven't been playing too well of late. We will see what happens, but the Bears and the Rams are the favorites.

My dark horse pick for the Super Bowl is the Colts. They seem to be playing well of late. Their Defense has really stepped up, and is quietly one of the strongest defenses in the League. Frank Reich has done a phenomenal job in Indy. I bet Indy fans are glad that Josh Daniels stepped out. That schlub shouldn't even be offered a HC job; especially after turning down an interview with the Bengals.

12:41 PM  
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4:13 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I thought the Rams would be the Bears toughest challenge, but it was their kicker. The only game I missed this weekend, and it hurts since I had the Bears going to the Super Bowl. But I think it will be the Rams and Patriots. Colts are my underdog that could beat the Patriots. I think it will be the Eagles and the Rams in the NFC Championship, and the Colts and the Patriots in the AFC.

4:56 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Bears went from middle-rank D to the NFL's top D... and Mack was a huge factor.

Patriots are very beatable but it will probably be the Chiefs. Even without Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs offense is almost unstoppable.

Raiders were a Janikowski injury and one missed FG away from securing slots for both acquired 1st rd draft picks this weekend.

With one SB as backup QB under his belt and possibly heading for another, Nick Foles should supplant Carson Wentz as the starter. Regardless, Foles will be starting for somebody. How about the Raiders?

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I agree about Foles, if he wins another Super Bowl, he should supplant Wentz. Eagles seem to play better with Foles. With that said, I agree with Bucky Brooks on the matter. With Wentz, Pederson can open his playbook and take risks. The players on offense don't have to play with as much disciplined focus with Wentz as they do with Foles. However, with Foles, they have to take what the Defense gives them, and everyone has to rally around that, be more focused, and stick to their assignments. But there still seems to be better chemistry with the WRs when Foles is the QB.

Even if they don't win, Foles should be playing somewhere next season. We already have Carr, I'd rather take my chances with him and get some solid weapons around him. Houston may be a good landing spot. Depending on who takes over the Cardinals, Arizona may be the perfect spot for Foles. Miami may be another decent place for Foles, again, depending on who the Coach is. It will be interesting to see what the Eagles do.

6:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Foles is a proven commodity, whereas, Carr is not. Carr has struggled badly when pressured.

I like Carr, but would consider Foles in exchange.

3:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"During ESPN’s pregame show, Mayock was even gracious enough to give Steve Levy a few minutes of his time.

One of the obvious questions Levy asked of Mayock was how the relationship will work between Gruden and himself. Most notably he confirmed what many already assumed; this is Gruden’s show."

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I was about to post a similar article, but from USA Today. Gruden has the final say on "ALL personnel". I emphasized ALL, but that is a direct quote from Mike Mayock the new GM. With that said, it doesn't mean that Mayock won't challenge Gruden, but if there is a disagreement, Mayock will give way to Gruden. Further proof, this is the Gruden show.

Foles was cut by the Eagles for similar issues that Carr is facing now. When Foles was cut, he was putting up good numbers as QB, but struggled because of pressure he was facing. In fact, Aaron Rodgers looked horrible this year, because of pressure he faced from the defense; and his WR's unable to get separation from defenders.

I say give Gruden a chance to get talent around Carr and see what he can do then. I guarantee he will be better than what he was in 2016. If he's not, then by the time they get the talent, then Trevor Lawrence may be available at QB from Clemson.

Speaking of Clemson, they DESTROYED Alabama last night! Clelin Ferrell may have become the #1 DE for the draft. I still think Oliver Jr is better suited for DE in the NFL and is still the #1 spot for me. Ferrell is a Junior, so he still has to make his intentions known. After hearing him talk last night, it wouldn't surprise me if he stays for his Sr year.

Draft and Free Agency is going to be interesting, as the Raiders have a lot of holes to fill. Focus has to be on DE, WR, ROT, MLB, SLB, WLB, maybe RB and Safety are all positions that need to be revamped. We can't hit everything in the draft, so it will be interesting to see what happens with Free Agency as well.

There are some interesting names in Free Agency, and I'd like to see the Raiders make a run at a few:
Lorenzo Alexander (Bills, OLB)
Maybe Marshall Newhouse (Bills, RT)
Vincent Ray (Bengals, MLB)
Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix (Packers, S)
Jadeveon Clowney (Texans, DE)
Marquis Flowers (Patriots, LB)
Brent Grimes (Bucs, CB)
Devin Funchess (Panthers, WR)
Maybe Teddy Bridgewater as backup QB
Brandon Graham (Eagles, DE)
Randy Gregory (Cowboys, DE, backup to DeMarcus Lawrence)

Some interesting names that may be cut or up for trade:
We all know Le'Veon Bell is available, but I think he is demanding serious $$ that the Raiders won't pay, same with Antonio Brown. Not sure the Raiders are willing to take on his $20 million salary, and part with a high draft pick. So I think those 2 are a far stretch for the Raiders to go after, regardless of what pundits are saying.

There is a rumor that the Broncos are considering cutting Von Miller. If that happens, and the Raiders could negotiate a decent contract for him, look out! That would be the epic of all epic ironies, and it would be more awesome than the Doncos cutting Alzado and the Raiders picking him up.

It will also be interesting to see what the Texans do with Clowney. They want a deal done before Franchise Tagging begins, but they have salary cap issues too. If they pursue to keep Clowney, it may be at the cost of cutting JJ Watt if he doesn't want to re-negotiate his contract.

I will be watching the Joe Flacco and Nick Foles/Carson Wentz situation as well. If the Eagles win again, they have to trade/cut Wentz. Joe Flacco is done in Baltimore. Depending on who they get as a coach, I think Flacco would fit well in Miami, Houston, Jacksonville. Depending on what happens in Philly, I think Foles or Wentz would fit in Arizona well, but Wentz would also be a good fit in Miami, Jacksonville, Houston. Another team to keep an eye out is Washington, and what happens with Alex Smith.

It's going to be a fun offseason, we will see what Mayock does, and what Gruden decides.

9:29 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Lots of high price tags in that group. To be clear, if the Raiders pay any free agent even close to $20M that would be a severe blow to salary cap theorists who believed the Raiders could not afford Mack.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

A lot of high prices too. Another wrench in the offseason is going to be who is cut and released by teams. Here are some players who the Raiders may get for cheaper $$ if they are cut:
Malik Jackson (DT, Jacksonville), Robert Quinn (DE, Miami), DeSean Jackson (WR, Tampa), and even though he tore his ACL in week 16, Demaryius Thomas (WR, Texans). Just on the Eagles, is saying, "Veterans like Jason Kelce, Timmy Jernigan and Jason Peters could be released."

Of course, the biggest name on this list is Eli Manning. There are numerous reports that the Giants are going to cut Eli Manning, and are pursuing a potential trade with the Raiders for Derek Carr. These reports have become so ludicrous that there is even mumbles that the Raiders are going to draft under-sized Kyler Murray to replace DC. I personally don't want to believe this report, but the one thing Gruden showed me this season is he's crazy enough to do anything.

I want to believe him when he says that he love DC, and they will work together for a long time. In fact, I think that is one of the most truthful statements he's made since becoming HC. Part of the reason is he has not put a "guaranteed" stamp on Derek (like he guaranteed that Mack would be back when he visited Ricky's in Oakland). I want to believe him, but the other part of me doesn't believe a damn thing he says after this season. I was hopeful that Mayock would be able to contrast his "celebrity ego" that hurt our team this year, until Mayock said that Gruden will have the final say on all personnel. So I am back to square one of "Just Prove It, Baby!" Not just with the Raiders, but with Gruden.

It is going to be an interesting offseason. It is almost a little overwhelming right now trying to figure out how the Raiders can build back up after the implosion this season. I'd love to be a fly on the wall with Mayock and Gruden, and I'd also love to give my input and help. That's what I love about Raider Take, it allows me to live part of that dream (giving my input and help). Thanks Take, and here's to a better 2019! Just Win, BABY!

11:14 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Gruden has given us no reason to believe anything he says. Past Raiders regimes relied on stealth. Unfortunately, Gruden's version of stealth has been to tell us white lies. Not that we deserve to know everything, but with dishonesty comes erosion of trust. We're the fans. We deserve a little more respect, IMHO.

Carr for Manning would be a colossal mistake. Carr might not be the guy, but Manning is certainly not. He's had a great career and should go out healthy and with integrity while he can. He's not his brother, and he's no Tom Brady.

When I think about the Raiders season, it pisses me off that Gruden couldn't do better. I think the rust from not coaching for so long and bad decisions plagued his season. Things got better toward the end, but coaching and game planning fell short all year.

Now, Gruden and Mayock can't afford bad decisions. We've said this before, but the margin for error is small.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Mel Kiper put out his first Mock Draft. He picked CB (Williams), WR (Brown) and TE (Smith) for Raiders 3 first-round picks in his first mock draft. Is there anyone in this business who has no clue about team needs and draft worse than Mel Kiper? Complete noob! I would say Todd McShay may be worse, but year in and year out, I smirk when I read Kiper because I think, "I wonder what this idiot has to say."
Maybe if people quit reading him based on this kind of merit, he would have to get a real job. SMH

8:59 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

PFF had Josh Allen falling to the Raiders at #4, which seems very unlikely. At least they got our top needs right. First round almost has to be all defense.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I like Josh Allen for our first pick. If we don't get Ed Oliver Jr, I think Josh Allen is our 2nd best choice. I think Zach Allen will be a good DE with our second pick, and then Marquise Brown (WR, Oklahoma) for our third. Scott Bair like N'Keal Harry with our third pick, but I don't think he is first round talent, and there are a ton of questions about his work ethic.
We could also pick up Zach Allen with our third pick, and trade up with our second pick to get AJ Brown (WR, Ole Miss), or take our chances to get Parris Campbell (WR, Ohio St). This will be one of the most interesting offseasons in a long time.

2:28 PM  

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